Khaqan Abbasi clears air about his party affiliation, trust in Nawaz Sharif

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PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. — Reuters/File
PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. — Reuters/File

  • Senior PML-N leader says only Nawaz Sharif is his leader.  
  • “I have never thought about any other political party.” 
  • “I only replied to those who were criticising me,” says Miftah.

Clearing the air of uncertainty about his party affiliation, former prime minister and senior politician Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has categorically said he will contest the upcoming elections only on the ticket of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Rumours started making rounds on social media that Abbasi was quitting the PML-N and setting up a new party comprising like-minded politicians since he resigned from the party's key post soon after Maryam Nawaz's election as the senior vice-president and chief organiser.

In an exclusive conversation with Geo News on Sunday, Abbasi said: “Only [PML-N supremo] Nawaz Sharif is my leader.” 

During an informal interaction with journalists earlier today, Maryam called him her “elder brother”, saying that Abbasi was not angry with the party. Abbasi wanted to bring the youth forward in the party, she added.

“Abbasi and my father have relationship for over 30 years,” Maryam said, adding that she would visit the former prime minister — Abbasi. The PML-N leader also said that she wanted to work under the supervision of her seniors.

Speaking on the occasion, Khaqan Abbasi further said that he had been loyal to the PML-N for years and terms the reports about forming a new party as "rumours".

“I have never thought about any other political party,” the ex-prime minister added.

‘I am part of PML-N’: Miftah Ismail

Former finance minister Miftah Ismail, who has recently been sidelined by the PML-N leadership, said that he "is still part of the party". “No new party is being launched [in the country].

Miftah said he was being subjected to criticism by the party leaders as he talked against the party policy.

On February 9, the former finance czar once again took a jibe at incumbent Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, saying that if the PDM government had to fire him then they should have replaced him with an "economist" who is "competent".

In an interview with a private news channel, the PML-N leader said that there are other capable people in the party like Ahsan Iqbal. He added that he would not talk about Dar's competence but his approach in dealing with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was counter-productive.

Responding to a question today, the ex-finance minister said, “I only replied to those who were criticising me.”

Following a deal with the IMF, the country’s economy would strengthen, Miftah hoped.

Responding to another question, he said that no institution can alone improve the country.